Underlying inflation down by 0.1%

Less pronounced price increases in clothing and footwear helped the annual rate of inflation to edge 0.1% per cent lower to 2.8% per cent.

The underlying figure for September, which strips out mortgage interest payments, was last lower in January, although inflation still remains above the Government's 2.5% per cent target.

The decline in the impact of clothing and footwear, where prices rose by less than last year following the introduction of the new season's stock, offset an increase in seasonal food prices.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) blamed this summer's heat-wave for the increase, particularly in the cost of fresh vegetables.

The ONS said the all-items headline rate of inflation also fell 0.1% per cent to 2.8% per cent - a figure which has not been bettered since last November.

There was also little movement in the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) - used in the Eurozone and due to be adopted in the UK later this year.

The figure, which does not include housing costs and smoothes out one-off effects, remained unchanged at 1.4% per cent.

The new data, which had been widely forecast by City analysts, means the underlying rate of inflation has now been above the Government's target for 11 months in a row.

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now